Squint real hard, and maybe you’ll see what Miami Dolphins’ plan is

Miami Dolphins executive Mike Tannenbaum, coach Adam Gase and owner Stephen Ross. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

ORLANDO — A couple of years ago, general manager Chris Grier declared an end to the dysfunction with the Dolphins.

Tuesday morning, coach Adam Gase declared that the leaders in his locker room won’t put up with the BS that occurred in the past, although Gase admitted he’s still uncertain who all those leaders are.

Tuesday afternoon, it was time for Mike Tannenbaum, executive vice president of football operations, to lay his cards on the table regarding where the Dolphins are headed. His answer was all over the board, ranging from players young and old, coming and going, what has been accomplished and what remains on the to-do list.

“But with the changes we’ve made, we feel good about … we feel like we’re going in the right direction,” he said.

Tannenbaum mentioned young players “we feel will take the next step this fall — that’s something you can’t really see right now.”

There’s a lot about these Dolphins that’s tough to see right now, starting with the “right direction” part. If you’re squinting, you’re not alone. Shortly before Tannenbaum spoke, ESPN published its power rankings, listing the Dolphins 32nd in a 32-team league.

Yes, they must look up to see even the Cleveland Browns, coming off an 0-16 season.

Tannenbaum began by saying, “Our plan remains the same: to put a competitive product on the field each and every year,” and Gase said he prefers the roster he has now to the one he inherited, which together avoids telling the fan base this team is in rebuilding mode.

We’ll give them that the changes to the offensive line could — could — represent overall improvement. We’ll give them that Rams defensive end Robert Quinn should be a nice pickup.

And then we’ll give them a reality check.

Do you realize that except for safety Reshad Jones and defensive end Cameron Wake, every Dolphin who has been recently honored for on-field performance is gone? You went to the Pro Bowl? Hope you booked a one-way ticket. Team MVP? Bye-bye. The team’s Ed Block Courage Award or Pro Football Focus’ special teams player of the year? See ya.

“To have sustainability in our system, you have to correctly evaluate your own,” Tannenbaum said.

The Dolphins apparently concluded their players weren’t cutting it in performance or value or both — and these were their best players. That’s about as unsettling as looking at the standings and seeing 6-10 next to your name.

But the Dolphins didn’t go all-in on youth. Running back Frank Gore is 35 — a young 35, to be fair, but still 35. Receiver Danny Amendola, guard Josh Sitton and center Daniel Kilgore are all 30 to 32. Plus, the Dolphins don’t have wiggle room under the salary cap. They haven’t stockpiled draft picks. Where there were once exclamation points, there are now question marks.

Their hopes are hanging by the thread, personified by Ryan Tannehill’s knee and DeVante Park’s hamstrings. They’re hinging on younger players blossoming into seasoned pros, not the least of which requires Laremy Tunsil growing into the type of left tackle the Dolphins expected him to be last year. But they shouldn’t grow so much that they warrant such fat, second NFL contracts that price themselves out of Miami, as Jarvis Landry did.

“We’re going to try to keep as many of our own as we can,” Tannenbaum said. “We’ve done that recently with Reshad Jones, Ryan Tannehill, and we’re going to keep trying to do that when it’s appropriate.”

Hearing this, owner Stephen Ross added, “You always want to keep your own.”

Both of those quotes may sound familiar, but it’s important to note they were both said Tuesday, in the wake of the Landry trade.

None of the three other teams in the AFC East are wading through such murky waters. We know what the Bills’ vision is. They’re hoarding draft picks, with six in the top 100, and itching to move up from No. 12 to nab a quarterback, which ought to concern the No. 11 Dolphins.

The Jets also are addressing quarterback needs, including nabbing former Pro Bowl selection Teddy Bridgewater to a still-growing stash of passers. We know what the Jets’ vision is.

The Patriots lost more key talent than usual, including left tackle Nate Solder and Amendola to the Dolphins. But nobody bothers wondering what the Patriots’ vision is.

Knowing that the departing talent is bound to cause unrest among the fan base, Tannenbaum said, “There were some guys that played for us, contributed, and we wish them sell. They were notable names and you know who they are.

“And with that said, we felt like that created a lot of opportunities and we feel like we’ve increased the depth and the competition at receiver, at offensive line. We added a few other pieces and there’s still a lot more work to be done.”

[Why did Rams not give Ndamukong Suh a multiyear contract?]

Is owner Stephen Ross OK with new Miami Dolphin Robert Quinn’s raised fist protest?

Why the Miami Dolphins brought Ja’Wuan James back

[Dolphins’ problems were much more about money than culture]

[Dolphins S Reshad Jones restructures his contract to give team flexibility]

[Cleveland Browns look closer to the playoffs than Miami Dolphins]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross supports moving on from Ndamukong Suh, Jarvis Landry

Ross and Suh at the introductory press conference. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

ORLANDO—When the Dolphins’ power trio of Mike Tannenbaum, Adam Gase and Chris Grier proposed their offseason plan to unload the best player on each side of the ball, their boss didn’t exactly leap out of his chair to embrace it.

Stephen Ross has little patience for more mediocrity and dropped an f-bomb in the locker room at the end of last season because he was so exasperated by going 6-10. He’s not eager for more of that.

But when his football people explained why they intended to cut Ndamukong Suh, even with a massive dead money salary cap hit looming, and trade Jarvis Landry, Ross eventually bought in to their blueprint.

“I questioned why,” Ross said this morning at the NFL league meeting. “You want to know why. There has to be justification for it, and you want to hear what their plan is. We’re constantly reviewing it. Certainly you don’t just do things and (not) ask, ‘Why was that done?’ Gotta ask that question.

“I saw the logic, but certainly I had questions. I think everybody has questions when you lose two players of that quality. You have to have reservations and questions.”

The Dolphins also shed center Mike Pouncey and did not re-sign Damien Williams and Michael Thomas. All three players had been with the organization for years.

There was a CBS report last season saying the Dolphins intended to move on from Suh, and Suh responded by saying he came to the team to play for Ross and win games, as well as indicating that they spoke about the report. Suh added that he planned on ending his career in Miami.

Ross was thought to be particularly close with Suh, but that attachment did not factor into this decision.

“Yeah, you like guys and certainly they gave an awful lot and you hate to see people go,” Ross said. “That’s true in life. We’re here to win football games. It’s not about making friends.”

Ross assumed there would be change after another frustrating season. There’s no way to hide from a 6-10 season, particularly one that could’ve been easily turned into 3-13 if a few plays had gone differently.

At the end of the year, he cited Ryan Tannehill’s season-ending knee injury in training camp as the biggest reason for the drop from 10 wins the previous year, but it was obvious that wasn’t going to fix all the Dolphins’ problems.

“I like where it’s going,” Ross said. “Most importantly I think the coach and the general manager and the whole team believes it’s been a successful offseason so far. Like all of us, I’m a fan. I have to wait and see. But I believe in them and what they’re doing and the game plan they have.”

[Dolphins’ problems were much more about money than culture]

[Dolphins S Reshad Jones restructures his contract to give team flexibility]

[Cleveland Browns look closer to the playoffs than Miami Dolphins]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

NFL owners meeting: Stephen Ross, Dolphins prominent in discussions

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will be front and center at the NFL meetings this week. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

ORLANDO—The NFL’s annual meeting is underway at the Ritz-Carlton in suburban Orlando, and the Dolphins will be in the spotlight.

In addition to coach Adam Gase and vice president Mike Tannenbaum taking questions for the first time since unloading some of the team’s biggest stars, owner Stephen Ross will hold a rare media availability at some point during the week.

Ross caught heat this month for saying all of his players would stand for the national anthem this season, then backtracking the next day to say he would not institute such a policy. The Dolphins briefly had a rule last season requiring players to stand or remain out of sight, which Gase said was his decision before nixing the idea after Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas and Julius Thomas met with him to voice their disagreement.

There is nothing on the agenda as far as working on a league rule about player protests during the anthem, but it will be a prominent topic at the meetings. Ross is on the 10-man Social Justice Working Group, which includes owners as well as current and former players.

Ross also serves on the Finance, NFL Network and International Committees.

He caused a stir at last year’s meetings in Phoenix by being the only owner to vote against the Raiders’ proposed move to Las Vegas.

“I think you’d only move a team if you really exhausted all the possibilities,” he said. “I don’t believe they did.”

One significant vote scheduled this week is on a proposal that will redefine what constitutes a catch. There have been several confusing plays in the last few years, as well as a controversy over Steelers tight end Jesse James against the Patriots during the 2017 regular season and a touchdown by Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz in the recent Super Bowl.

The Competition Committee recommended altering the rule to clarify that a catch is confirmed when a player “performs any act common to the game,” also known as a making a football move, or clearly controls the ball long enough to do so.

If the player hits the ground, does not have control over the ball at that time and the ball touches the field, it is still an incomplete pass. However, as long as he has clear control at the moment of impact with the turf, it would no longer be required that he maintain that control through hitting the ground.

Any rule change needs 24 of the 32 owners to vote in favor of it for it to pass.

Another item on the agenda is a proposal from the Jets to make pass interference a 15-yard penalty rather than a spot foul. Currently, the ball is placed where the penalty occurs with no limit on how much yardage that entails.

Gase hinted that he doesn’t like that idea.

“It probably changes for me if I’m on offense or defense,” he said. “If I was on defense, I’d be excited about it. I’d tell them any time you get beat, just tackle the guy. It’s only going to be a 15-yard penalty. If I’m on offense, I’m probably not real happy.”

Considering he’s been an offensive coach his entire career, it’s easy to see where he stands on New York’s suggestion.

There are 10 proposed changes to the playing rules and 17 related to bylaws and other procedures. Some of them are as minor as eliminating the rule that teams must attempt the point-after when they score a game-winning touchdown with no time left in regulation and giving both teams access to the NFL’s response to an inquiry about officiating from a game.

The Dolphins are putting forward a bylaw proposal making it no longer necessary for a non-vested player to be played on waivers when teams cut from 90 to 53 at the end of the preseason. That idea includes tweaks to the way the Injured Reserve list is treated during the preseason.

The overall point of Miami’s proposal is to give teams more roster flexibility during the preseason.

[Miami Dolphins believe tennis-related changes at Hard Rock Stadium will help future Super Bowl bids]

[Former all-pro RB DeMarco Murray to visit Miami Dolphins]

[A farewell to former Dolphins owner H. Wayne Huizenga]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

Jarvis Landry says goodbye, thank you to South Florida in Dolphins exit

Jarvis Landry is officially a Cleveland Brown. (Getty Images)

Jarvis Landry is one of the most emotional players in recent Dolphins‘ history, and his farewell was predictably heartfelt.

The trade that sent him to Cleveland in exchange for a fourth- and seventh-round pick became official this afternoon, and Landry posted an all-caps goodbye note to South Florida.


Landry added that he is “forever grateful” to owner Stephen Ross, former general manager Dennis Hickey and former receivers coach Phil McGeoghan.”

He did not mention vice president Mike Tannenbaum, who handles player contracts, or coach Adam Gase. The season ended with Gase and Landry yelling at each other in the Kansas City game and Gase calling Landry’s ejection in the finale one of the most embarrassing things he’s ever seen in a game.

Gase spoke glowingly of Landry at the NFL Combine two weeks ago and said he wanted him on the team, even though the team was obviously trying to trade him at the time. Neither has addressed their relationship publicly since the deal was agreed to in principle Friday.

Landry came to the Dolphins as a second-round pick in 2014, No. 63 overall, and made an instant impact. He caught 84 balls as a rookie and got better from there.

In his four seasons with the Dolphins, he totaled 400 catches, 4,038 yards and 22 touchdowns. He put up those numbers in a mere 64 games and leaves the franchise sixth all-time in receptions, eighth in yards receiving and 11th in touchdown catches.

[Dolphins’ problems were much more about money than culture]

[Dolphins S Reshad Jones restructures his contract to give team flexibility]

[Cleveland Browns look closer to the playoffs than Miami Dolphins]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

I’d like to trust Miami Dolphins’ plan, front office – but here’s why I can’t

Mike Tannenbaum, Stephen Ross, Ndamukong Suh, Joe Philbin and Dennis Hickey when Suh joined the Dolphins.

Mike Tannenbaum was talking about the long-range vision subscribed to in the Dolphins’ front office. In doing so, he threw out terms like “macroeconomic modeling” the decision-makers were piecing together. He talked about how cap management is an “allocation of resources.”

“To have sustainable success in a cap system, you’re going to have to hit on your draft choices,” he said. “We want to retain as many of those as reasonably possible. With that said, over time, some of those players are going to graduate, which, if and when they do, you want to celebrate it. That means they’ve been drafted well, they’ve been coached well, they’ve been developed well.”

Do three years provide enough of a scorecard to judge all the wellness Tannenbaum was espousing? Because today is almost the three-year anniversary of when he said that quote — March 11, 2015, at the announcement of the signing of free-agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Tannenbaum, the executive vice president of football operations, knew the Dolphins were dumping a huge percentage of their eggs in Suh’s basket. He knew that for the Dolphins to perform, uh, well, with Suh, not only would Suh have to perform up to the standards he set in Detroit, but the front office would have to have as many hits as Suh did.

There cannot be a need to make a case for the many ways virtually none of this panned out. A couple of 6-10 seasons sandwiched around one 10-6 scream failure. And there’s the fact that the Dolphins ended up writing checks for nearly half of the record $114 million contract they handed Suh before their divorce.

As outlined in this space earlier, there’s also the trickle-down cap hit Tannenbaum warned about that helped Jarvis Landry “graduate” to Cleveland — unless, of course, it was equal parts of this narrative to “change the culture” we’re being fed now, too.

All this would be infinitely easier to swallow if this front office had earned the kind of credit in PR terms that it never had much use for in a salary-cap sense. If you’re willing to credit Tannenbaum for getting two low picks and cap relief for trading Landry to the Browns, you also have to hold him accountable for creating the need for that cap relief in the first place.

So do you trust this front office?

Are you comfortable with its plan, whatever it may be?

Tannenbaum himself said the Dolphins had to hit on their draft picks. Let’s start with 2012, admittedly pre-Tannenbaum, because that’s when they drafted quarterback Ryan Tannehill:


Total Dolphins picks: 24

Still on team: Only Tannehill, DE Terrence Fede and possibly DB Walt Aikens, a free agent, and T Ja’Wuan James


Dolphins picks: 6

Still on team: 4 (WR DeVante Parker, DT Jordan Phillips, CB Bobby McCain, CB Tony Lippett)


Dolphins picks: 8

Still on team: 7 (T Laremy Tunsil, CB Xavien Howard, RB Kenyan Drake, WR Leonte Carroo, WR Jakeem Grant, CB Jordan Lucas, TE Thomas Duarte). QB Brandon Doughty is on practice squad


Dolphins picks: 6

Still on team: 5 (DE Charles Harris, LB Raekwon McMillan, CB Cordrea Tankersley, G Isaac Asiata, DT Davon Godchaux, DT Vincent Taylor

OK, so not every pick is going to pan out. What about the players who do excel? They don’t for long. Not in Miami. Last season, Suh was the Dolphins’ MVP, which stands for Most Volatile Perch. It’s the kiss of death. You win MVP, you may as well turn in your playbook.

Just look at this head-scratching list:

2008 Dolphins MVP: QB Chad Pennington (played only four games with Miami after winning) and LB Joey Porter (lasted one more season)

2009: RB Ricky Williams (lasted one more season)

2010: 7-9. None chosen

2011: QB Matt Moore (last season likely his final one with Dolphins)

2012: DE Cameron Wake (still around)

2013: CB Brent Grimes (he and his wife left South Florida after two additional seasons)

2014: Tannehill

2015: S Reshad Jones (still around), Landry (lasted two more seasons)

2016: RB Jay Ajayi (lasted only seven more games)

2017: Suh (gone faster than you could pronounce his full name)

Getting back to the culture business, which we’d been led to believe was well on its way toward a solution, the current purge raises a question of leadership in the locker room. The only players still on the roster who have been honored with the Dolphins’ annual leadership award are center Mike Pouncey and Wake, and only Tannenbaum seems to know how safe those two are.

Assuming Tannehill reclaims the starting job, he’ll be a team leader. Receiver Kenny Stills will be another. Jones, a model of sustained excellence, seems more the type of when he does speak, others will listen. And on special teams, should he re-sign as a free agent, there’s Michael Thomas.

On a 53-man roster, even including the maybes, that’s a mighty short list.

All is not lost. Tannenbaum is correct when he points out how frequently the NFL playoff bracket gets flipped. He has pointed out on multiple occasions how five of the six teams to make the playoffs in the NFC were newbies in 2017.

If it’s so easy, then, why have the Dolphins made it only once since 2008?

[Dolphins releasing LB Lawrence Timmons]

[Top 10 Miami Dolphins Offseason Priorities]

[Possible replacements for Jarvis Landry in free agency, NFL Draft]

[What Jarvis Landry said after being traded to Cleveland]

[Miami Dolphins master the art of wasting their best draft picks]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

Miami Dolphins aren’t tanking; They’re finally being honest with themselves

The Dolphins are finally being honest with themselves. Will that be enough to turn things around? (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

The Dolphins look like they’re tanking. They aren’t. They’re just being a little bit more realistic than usual.

It’s understandable to wonder whether this is a full reboot after they shipped out Jarvis Landry for a fourth- and a seventh-round pick last week and have made clear that they’re going to cut Ndamukong Suh soon. They’re dumping tons of cash and tons of talent.

Thinking long-term is admirable, by the way, when vice president Mike Tannenbaum and coach Adam Gase know they aren’t guaranteed anything if the upcoming season goes sideways. The natural tendency in this situation would be to salvage this roster the best they can and hope nine or 10 wins is enough to appease Stephen Ross for another year.

But the drastic moves of this offseason, which is barely underway considering free agents can’t sign until Wednesday and the NFL Draft is still more than a month out, illustrate that the team realizes it isn’t just a couple pieces away. It knows last year’s 6-10 roster won’t be instantly fixed merely by the return of Ryan Tannehill.

By comparison, last year’s offseason was perfunctory. The Dolphins were riding high after their first playoff appearance in nearly a decade, brimming with confidence about Gase and some modest improvement by Tannehill and believed all they had to do to make a run at New England was keep most of that team together.

That proved false. Regardless of Tannehill’s injury, this team still had big issues on the offensive line, at tight end and at linebacker. It also had a defensive line that didn’t come close to playing up to its exorbitant price tag.

The truth is that a fully healthy version of last year’s team wasn’t going to be a contender this year. The absolute ceiling would’ve been 10-6, which is nice, but ultimately doesn’t mean a lot. Plenty of teams like that miss the playoffs, and most of the ones that make it aren’t real factors anyway.

That truth is ugly, but at least it’s the truth. The first step in the Dolphins’ long road toward competing with the NFL’s best is being honest with themselves about how far away they are.

Maybe a full-on tank is the best way to proceed. That would mean treading ultra-conservatively in free agency and looking to trade or cut any players the Dolphins don’t think will still be helpful in 2-3 years.

But that’s not what’s happening here. Even on the defensive line, where the Dolphins are cutting their best player, they aren’t starting from scratch. They traded for former all-pro defensive end Robert Quinn and the $11.4 million salary cap hit he’s due this year. Adding that to the already stunning cost of their defensive line for the upcoming season suggested there had to be a corresponding move.

They Dolphins now press on with second-year defensive tackle Davon Godchaux, a player they think is definitely an NFL starter and is under contract cheaply through 2020. They’ll pair him with Jordan Phillips, who has been hit and miss but has tremendous financial stakes this season in a contract year, and pay the two of them a total of about $2 million.

That enables them to pay big money for Quinn, Cameron Wake ($8.6 million cap hit) and Andre Branch ($10 million), plus 2017 first-rounder Charles Harris. Quinn, by the way, is only 27 and still has a lot to play for financially.

While the Dolphins aren’t trying to tank, it’s possible they’ll end up with the same results anyway.

Replacing Landry’s production might prove too difficult, especially if DeVante Parker remains more of a projection than a reality.

They might’ve already hit the peak of what Tannehill has to offer, and a potential first-round quarterback in next month’s draft is highly unlikely to be able to step in right away.

The questions they have at tight end, linebacker and on the offensive line might not be answerable in free agency. Maybe they’ll be sitting in the same spot at those positions a year from now.

They must tangle with those truths next, but the more honest the Dolphins are with themselves, the better their chance of steering this team out of perpetual mediocrity.

[Possible replacements for Jarvis Landry in free agency, NFL Draft]

[What Jarvis Landry said after being traded to Cleveland]

[Miami Dolphins master the art of wasting their best draft picks]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

Jarvis Landry trade: Miami Dolphins make all-time franchise mistake

Adam Gase and the Dolphins have misjudged Jarvis Landry’s importance. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

This one’s going to hurt.


The Dolphins have a special knack for breaking South Florida’s heart, but they’ve outdone themselves this time. Jarvis Landry is gone, headed to the Browns in a trade that will become official Wednesday and bring in a fourth-round draft pick this year plus a seventh-rounder in 2019, and this team is going to regret that for a long time.

Don’t be duped by the Dolphins’ spin as they try to justify dumping a 25-year-old who would’ve gone on to be the most productive receiver in their history. They’ll point to Landry’s uneven temperament, locker room concerns and his improvisation on the field. While there might be some validity to that, far more egregious transgressions have been overlooked.

Funny how none of those objections surfaced until it was contract time. Gase used to joke about Landry, Jay Ajayi and him being the three hotheads on the team. In his first year coaching Miami, he said flatly Landry was the best offensive player he had. There was no one he trusted more.

This is really about the Dolphins grossly misjudging what this kind of talent is worth, and that’ll prove to be a fireable offense for whoever had final say on it. They’ll realize it quickly when they see how difficult it is to replace a man who totaled 400 receptions, 4,038 yards and 22 touchdowns in four years. The franchise never had a 100-catch receiver until he showed up and did it three times.

Landry wants market value—how audacious of him—and the Dolphins don’t agree with his asking price. Everything else is a footnote.

The asterisk they put on his gaudy numbers is that he did it out of the slot, as though it’s impossible to be a game-changing receiver any other way than how Julio Jones does it. Go ask Ryan Tannehill if he agrees with that.

Tannehill and the other quarterbacks didn’t seem perturbed by the improvising, either, as they threw 27.5 percent of their passes his direction. Landry was always there for them when the pocket fell apart and, in case anyone hasn’t noticed, the pocket is always falling apart around here.

In fact, Landry’s ability to change on the fly might be one of his best attributes. The Dolphins weren’t amazing at quarterback during his seasons, but he made it work. They had no tight end last year, so he morphed into one of the best red zone players in the league. The Browns are pretty excited about the improvisor they’re acquiring.

Of all the young talent Miami’s let walk out the door, this is the easiest it’s ever been to predict which side will get the last laugh. This will be an all-time regret.

Landry’s likely going to get a $60-ish million extension from the Browns and keep making Pro Bowls. Meanwhile, his old team’s going to rummage through free agency bargains and keep counting on the DeVante Parker breakout year that’s always right around the corner.

The most painful part of this for anyone who cares about the Dolphins has to be that it was so preventable. Landry wanted the millions he was due, but he was adamant that he wanted them from Miami.

He was patient about that, too. He watched vice president Mike Tannenbaum come through with a wheelbarrow full of cash in the 2017 offseason and hand it out to everyone but him.

Reshad Jones got $60 million. Kenny Stills re-signed for $32 million. T.J. McDonald, who had been with the team five months, hadn’t played a game yet and was on suspension at the time, received a $24 million extension. And the Dolphins giddily threw $10 million at a retired Jay Cutler.

They committed an additional $69 million to Andre Branch, Cameron Wake and Kiko Alonso. That means nearly $200 million in new deals circulated the locker room while Landry played the final year of his rookie deal for about $1 million without a peep.

No deal last offseason? He showed up for every second of Organized Team Activities and minicamp, maintain all along he wanted to be a Dolphin. No deal then? He reported right on time for training camp with the same message. On the eve of the season opener he said he was peace playing out his contract.

Landry wanted to win, and missing time was counterproductive. He did it the way they wanted, and now it’s fair to ask whether they misled him all along.

Why in the world were the Dolphins thinking they’d get him at a discount after dragging him through that whole process? And, by the way, they already got their discount when those first four years cost them an average of $942,000.

This must be particularly exasperating for general manager Chris Grier, who’s seen plenty of good players leave in his 12-year run with the Dolphins. He had a hand in them stealing Landry in the second round of the 2014 draft.

The sting of Landry’s departure goes beyond simply watching him keep racking up big  numbers in someone else’s uniform. Think back to how putrid this offense was the last two years. Now subtract its most dangerous weapon. Get ready for a 2018 season that’s almost as thrilling as knitting a quilt.

The only way this works out in the short-term is if Gase is a secret genius who knows Stills is going to have a career year, has the cure for all that ails Parker, somehow finds an effective tight end, adds a modestly productive replacement for Landry in the slot, turns Kenyan Drake into Matt Forte and gets the best out of Tannehill at 30 years old after two knee injuries even though his favorite target is playing in Cleveland.

That’s all that needs to go right.

More realistically, this team has seriously hurt the prospect of turning things around this season and upped the chances that those who made this call on Landry will be following him out the door sooner than later.

[Possible replacements for Jarvis Landry in free agency, NFL Draft]

[What Jarvis Landry said after being traded to Cleveland]

[Miami Dolphins master the art of wasting their best draft picks]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

Colin Kaepernick fits Miami Dolphins’ QB need behind Ryan Tannehill

Colin Kaepernick (7) makes sense for the Dolphins for football reasons. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

The answer to the Dolphins’ quarterback uncertainty is sitting there to be had. He’s waiting for their call.

With no guarantee on Ryan Tannehill’s left knee, they need a sound backup plan to avoid the fiasco they got into last summer in which they were begging broken, old Jay Cutler to take their $10 million.

There’s a highly available 30-year-old who’d be happy to hear from them. He’s still in his quarterbacking prime and, believe me, very well rested. Plus, if Miami brings him in soon, he’ll have ample time to adapt to the offense.

Much like Tannehill, this guy is good, not great. He has taken a team to the Super Bowl. He possesses the mobility coach Adam Gase believes is an absolute necessity, and over the past decade he’s been one of the five safest quarterbacks in the league when it comes to interceptions. In his most recent season, he put up a better passer rating than Tannehill’s career average.

There’d be little question about it if his name wasn’t Colin Kaepernick.

The Dolphins’ power trio of Gase, Mike Tannenbaum and Chris Grier can’t let anything hinder them from doing their sole job of assembling the best possible roster. Politics, regardless of whether their views and Kaepernick’s are aligned, don’t show up on scouting reports.

That’s the opinion of their boss, anyway.

When Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was asked last year whether Kaepernick’s stances, including being the originator of the national anthem protests, were keeping him out of the league, he couldn’t fathom that being true.

“A lot has been written about it, but you know owners, or coaches… they’ll do anything it takes to win,” Ross said. “And if they think he can help them win, I’m sure—I would hope they would sign him.”

Kaepernick can help the Dolphins win. He wouldn’t be coming in to compete against Tannehill, who will be Gase’s unquestioned starter if healthy, but he’s a more proven option than David Fales or anyone they might pick up in the draft.

It’d be ideal for Miami to find some veteran backup as a contingency, a point underscored by seeing Josh McCown go to the Jets last year and far outperform Cutler for about half the cost. Considering how tight the Dolphins’ salary cap situation figures to be, however, their budget will put serious restrictions on who they can get.

So what does a 6-10 team with limited finances do? It scrolls Craigslist looking for bargains like Kaepernick. Finding undervalued assets is enormously important for a team like the Dolphins.

Based on what’s been reported, it appears he just wants to play. It’s highly doubtful he’ll be holding out for a huge contract offer or demanding a chance to be the starter. He’s precisely the bargain Miami needs.

Would signing Kaepernick look a little desperate? Probably, but the Dolphins are desperate. Ross unloaded his frustration after the team plummeted out of the playoff race with three straight losses to end the season.

“You put as much as I put into a team and you try to do all the right things to win, how can you not be disappointed?” he said.

Doing all the right things to win means basing football decisions on football criteria. The three men running this team can’t be scared off by the likely public relations headache that accompanies signing Kaepernick, and they ought to know another 6-10 season wouldn’t bode well for job security.

The first thing he’d need to do is rectify his past support of Fidel Castro, but everything else he’s voiced over the past few years has now become commonplace in the NFL. The league saw entire teams kneel after Donald Trump’s criticism in September. Six Dolphins players did so that weekend, and many more players and staff wore #IMWITHKAP t-shirts before the game.

It’s not a huge leap from #IMWITHKAP to #KAPSWITHUS.

Tannehill’s standing within the organization is secure enough that he shouldn’t be upset about them bringing in Kaepernick as insurance. If he was too frail for that, it’d be an issue no matter who the Dolphins bring in, and given his knee injury, they can’t afford to ride into next season without a Plan B.

Gase seems sturdy enough to manage it, too. Remember all the times he held his ground when fans called for him to bench Tannehill and Cutler?

“I’ll make the decision on quarterback,” he said. “We’re not going to take public polls.”

Fine. Don’t take one on Kaepernick, either. Instead, recognize the gift of being able to acquire a low-risk, high-reward backup quarterback and make the decision that makes this team better.

[Jarvis Landry stars in 2018 Pro Bowl, which could be his final game with Miami Dolphins]

[Jason Taylor weighs in on Jarvis Landry’s free agency saga]

[Dolphins legend Don Shula asks for patience for coach Adam Gase]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

2018 NFL free agents: Relationship good between Jarvis Landry, Dolphins

Jarvis Landry is having a great week, regardless of where things stand with free agency. (AP)

LAKE BUENA VISTA—This is a really good time to be Jarvis Landry. Really, really good.

No matter how much his pending free agency seems to be getting bogged down with the Dolphins, he’s 25, he’s surrounded by family and friends at Pro Bowl week and this phase of his career ultimately ends with him hauling in more money than he’s ever seen in his life.

He’s not stressed. He’s happy.

“I am,” he told The Post after this morning’s AFC practice. “Have you not been seeing the pictures lately? I’m smiling… This is the most important thing to me right now, and everything else will work itself out.”

This is in line with Landry’s attitude throughout the situation. When the team didn’t extend him a year ago, he shrugged it off and went to work. Going into this season without the security of a long-term deal, he was at peace.

Now, with about a month and a half until he reaches the enviable position of being able to hit the open market, he’s not going to let that be anything but positive.

If he returns to the Dolphins, great. That’s what he wants. If not, there are compelling alternatives all around the league.

“Not even so much about the possibilities, but just excited about the process and what God has been doing in my life and the blessing that’s coming,” Landry said. “It’s really put me at peace in my life. That’s really all I can say.

“Guys around here, a couple former players, just talking and chatting and, truthfully, there’s no easy way to get through this process, but at the same time, I’m understanding that what lies ahead is far greater than what has come. That’s the beautiful part about it.”

What lies ahead is a scenario in which the worst-case outcome is he gets a $14-16 million paycheck, which is what the Dolphins would pay if they use the transition or franchise tag. Otherwise, he’s looking at a long-term deal possibly worth a total of $60 million.

It’s a really, really, really good time to be Jarvis Landry.

The resolution Landry wants most is a new contract with the Dolphins, and he’s made no secret of that. While the organization hedges at every turn and says things like, “You can’t keep them all,” to quote vice president Mike Tannenbaum, he’s been saying for a year that he wants to be part of its future. He doesn’t consider negotiating leverage when he says that. He’s just telling the truth.

That loyalty means something given how much he wants to be part of a winner and how far away from that status the Dolphins (30-34) have been during his tenure.

“I love Miami,” Landry said. “I love the City of Miami. I love everything about it—the coaching staff, the fans. I was drafted there.

“In any ideal situation, just like with you, you work for The Palm Beach Post. If you’re happy being there and you’re compensated the way you’re supposed to be for the amount of work that you do, then wouldn’t you want to stay there?”

Miami safety Reshad Jones, also a Pro Bowler, said Landry seems at ease about free agency.

“I think it’ll work out for him,” he said. “Hopefully the Dolphins make it happen here pretty soon, but he’s a great player and I think everything will work out for him.”

Landry added that he has no doubt coach Adam Gase wants him back, and Gase has previously referred to Landry as the best offensive player on the team. Hard to argue after Landry racked up 400 catches, 4,038 yards and 22 touchdowns in his first four seasons. Last season, despite Miami’s brutally bad quarterback play, he set a franchise record with 112 receptions, had 987 yards and scored a career-best nine touchdowns.

Gase’s most recent comments, though, centered on Landry’s “embarrassing” ejection from the season finale and saying the team will “look at the body of work” as it ascertains how it will handle his free agency.

Then there was the issue of in-house criticism of Landry’s play and conduct leaking to the media this month, though the Dolphins say it didn’t come from them. Landry’s agent, Damarius Bilbo, said he was “alarmed” by what he perceived as disrespect toward his client and the negotiating process.

Landry surely didn’t like it, either, but he’s not holding a grudge and said his relationship with Dolphins management is good now.

“I know so,” he said. “It’s always been healthy conversations, but even in healthy conversations you have moments where you have to tell each other things or say things to get on the same page. It’s called communication. That’s all this whole process is really gonna be about and has been about.”

[Drafting quarterback in 2018 Draft makes sense for Dolphins regardless of Ryan Tannehill]

[Jarvis Landry believes Dolphins coach Adam Gase wants him back]

[Dolphins legend Don Shula asks for patience for coach Adam Gase]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

How long does Dolphins VP Mike Tannenbaum need to rebuild?

The Dolphins’ brain trust has much to fix after going 6-10 this season. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

MOBILE, Ala.—One essential component of the Dolphins’ offseason evaluation is determining whether this roster is on the cusp of contending or in need of a more prolonged rebuild.

Vice president Mike Tannenbaum has been optimistic since the end of last year’s disappointing season and is particularly encouraged by the jump he saw from teams like the Eagles, Jaguars and Rams this year. He also knows a 6-10 season signals Miami needs significant changes.

“I would say we have a lot of work to do,” he said. “I think to have sustainability in our system, you have to evaluate your own correctly. We’ve been spending a lot of time talking about that and trying to learn from what happened a year ago.

“We have a lot of work to do, but we do feel like things are going in the right direction. We’re going to have make some obviously hard decisions and choices along the way, but in terms of our view of the program and what we want it to be, we feel like it is going in the right direction.”

One area that needs correction is quarterback, where the team believes it already has an upgrade lined up with Ryan Tannehill progressing nicely through his rehabilitation from a knee injury. Miami is also addressing its depth behind Tannehill in order to avoid the mess it got into last summer.

The critical question for Tannenbaum, general manager Chris Grier and coach Adam Gase is whether they have the patience and job security to be realistic about the scale of this project. If they feel the pressure to turn things around immediately, some of those quick fixes might backfire in the long run.

The good thing for that trio is that owner Stephen Ross seems to fully support them as he seeks to create organizational stability. Nonetheless, those three seem averse to sitting through an all-out rebuilding year knowing the Dolphins were in the playoffs just last season.

“Things can change so quickly by just a handful of plays,” Tannenbaum said. “For us, we’re going to start 0-0. We have a lot of work to do but we also know there is great opportunity there if we work hard and do things the right way.”

[Drafting quarterback in 2018 Draft makes sense for Dolphins regardless of Ryan Tannehill]

[Dolphins players celebrate Jay Ajayi’s trip to the Super Bowl]

[Dolphins legend Don Shula asks for patience for coach Adam Gase]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook